By PNSchilke - Motorsport.com Friday, August 17, 2001 -- The surprise of the day happened at Michigan International Speedway when the final car on the track during qualifying and the 24th fastest in the morning practice won the pole position ...
By PNSchilke - Motorsport.com
Friday, August 17, 2001 -- The surprise of the day happened at Michigan International Speedway when the final car on the track during qualifying and the 24th fastest in the morning practice won the pole position for the Pepsi 400!! This is the fourth Winston Cup career pole and the first at MIS and this year for Ricky Craven. "It's a car we never run, has two hours of test time. I am glad Cal gave me the ride," said a very happy Craven.
The team has been busy preparing and testing the new Ford Taurus which was recently tested at Indianapolis. The Cal Wells owned Tide Ford team was extremely happy. "I got the team behind me ever time I go out. The whole team is full of quality people," said Craven.
The top ten in qualifying are: Craven (Ford), Bill Elliott (Dodge), Ricky Rudd (Ford), Elliott Sadler (Ford), John Andretti (Dodge), Casey Atwood (Dodge), Michael Waltrip (Chevy), Hut Stricklin (Ford), Bobby Labonte (Pontiac), and Tony Stewart (Pontiac)
"Competition has gotten so much better," said Elliott whose time was 38.327 compared to Craven's 38.272.
Rudd commented on how close the times were, "Somebody said it's like three-thousandths off the pole."
The next happiest team of the day had to be the Cheerios Dodge of Andretti. "I'm ecstatic. We've had our run of bad luck. It's been a year and a half, and we're ready to turn it around," said Andretti.
The Cup team's practice tomorrow and race on Sunday.
Reporter's Note: The buzz around the WCS garage is a rule change regarding the use of engines for qualifying, happy hour and the race. Presently, the teams change engines for all three sessions. NASCAR will release a new rule prior to the final race of the year. This could affect the current method of qualifying on the superspeedways with what is know as "qualifying trim."